Florida Keys Travel Guide: Things to Do, Maps & Food

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Written By Emma Parker

Emma Parker essays on her experiences in the United States and other global experiences, alongside other pursuits related to traveling and teaching in the World.

The Florida Keys are a tropical oasis located just off the southern coast of Florida. If you’re looking for a vacation destination with beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and plenty of things to do, look no further.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the best things to do in the Keys and helpful tips for transportation and food.

Florida Keys Travel Guide

Let’s dive in.

Florida Keys

The Florida Keys is a chain of islands located off the southern coast of Florida., extending from the peninsula into the Gulf of Mexico. The islands are renowned for their sandy beaches, clear blue waters, and lush vegetation.

Florida Keys Highway Bridge
Florida Keys Highway Bridge | Source: WikiMedia

Visitors to the Florida Keys can enjoy various activities such as swimming, sunbathing, fishing, snorkeling, diving, and kayaking. There are also several restaurants and bars on the islands, offering fresh seafood and tropical cocktails.

Accommodation in the Florida Keys ranges from camping and RV parks to luxury resorts. There is something to suit all budgets and preferences.

It is also a popular vacation destination for both domestic and international travelers.

Florida Key West International Airport

The Florida Key West International Airport is located in the heart of the beautiful Florida Keys. It is just a short drive from Key West and offers a variety of amenities for travelers.

Florida Key West International Airport
F. Key West International Airport | Source: WikiMedia

The airport offers a wide range of flights to destinations across the United States and the world.

Some ground transportation options are also available, including taxis, buses, and shuttles. In addition, the airport has several shops and restaurants open for travelers.

Some other airports includes:

  1. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
  2. Miami International Airport
  3. Florida Keys Marathon International Airport

Florida Keys Map

The Florida Keys are a chain of islands located off the southeastern coast of Florida, stretching from the mainland to Key West.

The islands offer a tropical climate, crystal clear waters, and white sand beaches.

Travelers can take the Overseas Highway, which begins in Key Largo and extends to Key West. The journey is about 113 miles (182 km) long and takes approximately 4 hours to complete.

Map of Central Florida
Map of Central Florida | Source: WikiMedia

Forty-two bridges connect the islands, and you will have stunning views of the ocean and the islands along the way.

When planning a trip to the Florida Keys, check out a Florida Keys map to help you plan your route and make the most of your time in this beautiful destination.

Map of the Five Regions of Florida Keys

Suppose you’re planning on visiting the Florida Keys. In that case, it’s helpful to know that the area is divided into five regions: Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine, the Lower Keys, and Key West.

  • Key Largo is the first and largest island in the chain and is known for its world-class diving and fishing.
  • Islamorada, the “Village of Islands,” comprises eight islands and is a popular destination for boaters and anglers.
  • Marathon is a family-friendly destination with plenty of activities for kids and is also home to the Turtle Hospital.
  • Big Pine and the Lower Keys are known for their laid-back atmosphere and beautiful beaches.
  • And finally, Key West is the southernmost city in the continental United States and is home to various attractions, including the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum.
Florida Keys Map
Florida Keys Map | Source: WikiMedia

Mile Marker System: Florida Keys Overseas Highway

The Florida Keys Overseas Highway is a 113-mile (182 km) highway connecting the island chain of the Florida Keys to the mainland of Florida, United States.

The Overseas Highway begins at Mile Marker 113 in Key Largo and extends to Mile Marker 0 in Key West.

The highway is considered one of the most scenic drives & Florida Keys Road Trip in the United States and is popular among tourists visiting Florida.

Seven Mile Bridge (Connects Marathon in Middle Keys to Lower Keys)
Seven Mile Bridge (Connects Marathon in Middle Keys to Lower Keys) | Source: WikiMedia

The Overseas Highway was built in the 1930s to replace a ferry system since 1912.

The highway was originally designed for automobiles but has since been upgraded to accommodate RVs and other large vehicles. The highway is two lanes wide for most of its length but widens to four lanes in some sections.

Best Places to Stay During Florida Keys Road Trip

Campgrounds and RV parks are the best places to stay during a Florida Keys road trip. These provide the perfect opportunity to experience all this beautiful destination has to offer without worrying about finding accommodations each night.

Many campgrounds and RV parks in the Keys offer full hookups, so you’ll have everything you need right at your fingertips. And, of course, you’ll be right in the heart of all the action!

Some of the best campgrounds and RV parks in the Keys include Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge & Campground, Geiger Key Marina & RV Park, and Sunshine Key RV Resort & Marina.

All three of these locations offer full hookups and are situated in or near some of the Keys’ best fishing, diving, and snorkeling spots.

Florida Keys RV Park & Campgrounds

Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge & Campground

Looking to plan a Keys road trip? Make sure to include a stop at the Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge & Campground! This beautiful spot is perfect for a relaxing vacation, and there is plenty to do in the area.

The lodge offers everything you need for a comfortable stay, including cozy accommodations and all the amenities you could want. But of course, the real star of the show is the fishing.

Located in a quiet spot on Big Pine Key, the lodge is also a great place to relax and enjoy the Florida Keys scenery simply. The sunsets here are stunning, and there are plenty of opportunities for exploring the area’s natural beauty.

Geiger Key Marina & RV Park

Geiger Key Marina & RV Park is one of the best hotels to stay during your Keys Road Trip. The marina has many facilities and services to make your trip more comfortable and enjoyable.

You can find everything you need here, from restaurants and shops to laundry service and a swimming pool.

You can also take a short drive to Key West to explore the island and its attractions.

Sunshine Key RV Resort & Marina

A world-class RV resort offers its guests everything they need for a relaxing and enjoyable vacation, including direct access to the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Sunshine Key RV Resort & Marina features over 600 full-hookup RV sites, as well as a variety of amenities and activities to keep guests entertained.

Relax by one of the resort’s two heated pools, take a yoga class, or go for a paddleboard or kayak excursion. If you’re looking for some adventure, you can also participate in the on-site fishing tournaments or go on a scuba diving or snorkeling adventure.

Little Palm Island Resort

Located in the Florida Keys, Little Palm Island Resort is the perfect place to stay during your road trip.

This resort offers a variety of activities and amenities that will make your vacation unforgettable. The staff is friendly and helpful, and the rooms are comfortable and clean.

Private Island Resort

This resort is located on an island off the coast of Key West, and it offers a variety of activities and amenities for guests to enjoy.

The resort has a private beach, as well as a pool and a spa. There are also many restaurants on the island, so you can always find something to eat.

And if you want to explore the rest of the Florida Keys, plenty of activities keep you busy.

Best Restaurants to Eat During Road Trip

Hobo’s Cafe

Hobo’s Cafe is a popular tourist destination located in the heart of Key West. The Cafe is known for its delicious food and friendly staff. You can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the Cafe. There is also a bar where you can enjoy a variety of alcoholic beverages.

What the Fish Rolls and More

If you want to enjoy some delicious seafood while in the Florida Keys, you need to head over to What the Fish Rolls and More.

This popular spot is known for its fresh and tasty fish rolls, which are perfect for enjoying on a hot day. In addition to the fish rolls, What the Fish Rolls and More also offers a variety of other seafood options, including shrimp and crab cakes.

Located in Key West (Mile Marker 90.8 Highway), What the Fish Rolls and More are the perfect places to enjoy a meal while taking in the stunning views of the Florida Keys.

Twisted Shrimp

Located in ISLAMORADA (Mile Marker 87.7), Twisted Shrimp is a must-visit destination for seafood lovers. This family-owned and operated restaurant has been serving fresh, delicious seafood for over ten years.

The menu features a wide variety of shrimp dishes and other seafood favorites like crab cakes, lobster bisque, and fish tacos.

With its friendly atmosphere and fantastic food, Twisted Shrimp is the perfect place to enjoy a meal with friends or family.

The Florida Boy Bar & Grill

Situated in Layton, The Florida Boy Bar & Grill is the perfect place to enjoy some good food and drinks while taking in the stunning views of the Florida Keys.

The menu features a variety of American comfort food classics and some unique dishes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

And with a full bar stocked with all your favorite beverages, you can enjoy a refreshing cocktail or beer to accompany your meal.

Kiki’s Sandbar Bar & Grille

Located in Little Torch Key (Mile Marker 28), Kiki’s Sandbar Bar & Grille is the perfect spot to enjoy a delicious meal and refreshing drinks while taking in stunning views of the Florida Keys.

The menu features a variety of seafood and American dishes and an impressive selection of wine and beer. And be sure to save room for dessert – the Key lime pie is simply delicious!

It is open daily for lunch and dinner, and reservations are recommended.

Related: 

Florida Keys: Top Six Attractions

Bahia Honda State Park

Bahia Honda State Park is a state park located on the Southernmost point of Florida in Bahia Honda Key in Monroe County, Florida. The park covers an area of 1,056 acres (429 ha) and includes the largest natural beach in the Keys.

Bahia Honda State Park
Bahia Honda State Park | Source: WikiMedia

The park is also home to various plant and animal life, including several endangered species.

The park is open from 8:00 a.m. to sunset year-round. Admission is $8 per vehicle with up to eight people, $4 for single-occupant vehicles, and $2 for pedestrians and bicyclists. Annual passes are also available for purchase.

Several hiking trails are also available for those who want to explore the park’s natural beauty. Moreover, picnicking is also a popular activity at the park.

The Dolphin Connection in Duck Key

The Dolphin Connection in Duck Key, Florida, is one of the unique places to visit and swim with dolphins in their natural habitat. It is a must-see for anyone visiting the Keys and an experience you will never forget.

Swimming with dolphins is an unforgettable experience, and you can do just that at The Dolphin Connection. They offer dolphin swims, encounters, and programs for all ages.

The facility is located in a natural lagoon where the dolphins live, so you can get up close and personal with these amazing creatures.

There are several different program options, and prices start at $149 per person. It also offers group rates for parties of 10 or more.

If you want an amazing and unique experience, check out The Dolphin Connection in Duck Key, Florida. You will not be disappointed.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is located in the Florida Keys, off the coast of Key Largo. The park is home to a variety of coral reefs and underwater life.

You can snorkel or scuba dive to see the reefs or take a glass bottom boat tour.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park | Source: WikiMedia

There is also an undersea park trail for snorkeling. Admission to the park is $8 per carload for up to 8 people or $4 for pedestrians and cyclists. The park is open from 8:00 a.m. to sunset.

Key West Aquarium

Looking to learn more about the marine life that inhabits Key West? A visit to the Key West Aquarium is a perfect way to do just that.

This educational and fun attraction is home to various fish, turtles, stingrays, and more. You can even feed the fish during certain times of the day.

Key West Aquarium
Key West Aquarium | Source: WikiMedia

It is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission for adults is $13, while children ages 3-12 are $6.50. Seniors and military personnel receive a discounted rate of $11.50.

Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park is a national park in Florida, United States. The park protects the Dry Tortugas islands, seven small tropical islands in the Gulf of Mexico. (One of the best attractions in the Florida Keys)

The park is accessible only by boat or seaplane. A ferry service runs daily from Key West to Garden Key, where Fort Jefferson is located.

The park is open all year round, but the best time to visit is from October to May. The cost of admission is $10 per person.

It is home to Fort Jefferson, a 19th-century fort used as a military prison. The fort is now a popular tourist attraction.

Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas National Park
Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas National Park | Source: WikiMedia

Other attractions in the park include the Dry Tortugas, a turtle found only in the Dry Tortugas islands. The turtles are a popular sightseeing attraction for tourists.

Hemingway House

Hemingway House, located in Key West, Florida, is a historic home and museum once the residence of author Ernest Hemingway.

You can tour the house and learn about Hemingway’s life and work.

Hemingway House, Key West, FL
Hemingway House, Key West, FL | Source: WikiMedia

The house is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and admission is $15 for adults and $9 for children.

Best Time to Visit Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are a popular vacation destination for many reasons – the warm weather, the beautiful beaches, the clear blue waters. But when is the best time to visit?

The answer really depends on what you’re looking for in a vacation. If you want to avoid the crowds, the best time to visit is during the off-season, from late April to early June, or in September and October.

The weather is still beautiful during these months, but there are fewer tourists.

If you’re looking for the best deal on accommodations, the best time to visit is during the shoulder seasons of March and April, or October and November.

Prices are lower during these months, but the weather is still pleasant.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the Best Florida Key to Visit?

The Florida Keys are a chain of islands off the southern coast of Florida, stretching from the mainland US to the Dry Tortugas National Park. They’re popular for their sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and laid-back vibe. So which is the best Florida Key to visit?

That depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to experience the classic Keys lifestyle, Key West is your place. This island has everything from sunny beaches to lively bars and restaurants. It’s also home to some of the Keys’ most iconic landmarks, such as the Southernmost Point marker and the Ernest Hemingway House.

For a more laid-back experience, try the Lower Keys. These islands are quieter and more relaxed, with plenty of opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and exploring the natural surroundings.

When Should you not visit the Florida Keys?

The Florida Keys are a group of islands that stretch from the southernmost tip of Florida down along the state’s eastern coast. However, some things to consider before visiting the Florida Keys.

First, the weather can be hot and humid, especially in summer. It is important to pack plenty of sunscreens and to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Secondly, the Florida Keys are home to dangerous animals like alligators, snakes, and sharks. It is essential to be aware of these dangers and to take precautions, such as avoiding swimming in areas where these animals might be present.

Finally, the Florida Keys can be expensive, so budget is essential.
Overall, the Florida Keys are a beautiful and unique destination offering a wealth of activities and attractions for visitors.

However, it is essential to be aware of the potential dangers and plan accordingly to have a safe and enjoyable trip.

Is there a difference between Florida Keys & Key west?

What’s the difference between these two? The Florida Keys are made up of over 1700 islands, most of which are uninhabited. Key West is the only inhabited island in the chain.

What is Florida Keys famous for?

The Florida Keys is famous for a lot of things. It is most well known for being the southernmost point in the contiguous United States, as well as being home to a large number of key deer.

The Florida Keys are also famous for their coral reefs, which attract scuba divers and snorkelers worldwide. Lastly, the Florida Keys are known for their laid-back vibe and numerous bars and restaurants.

If you want to experience some of what the Florida Keys are famous for, you can start by visiting Key West.

Key West is home to the southernmost point in the contiguous United States and the large key deer population.

You can also find some coral reefs offshore of Key West, which make for great snorkeling and diving. Lastly, Key West is known for its lively nightlife scene, with some bars and restaurants to choose from.

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